Why I Am Here

Art education needs to change. Too often, art education is focused on a specific set of skills, be it the elements and principles of design or realistic depictions. We need to create a new paradigm for art education that transcends simple skills and ordered tasks. We need to create space for an authentic artistic creation that follows process and curiosity. The future holds no place for individuals who can perform defined, duplicative tasks. The future belongs to those who can create new knowledge and reinterpret their world. To prepare students for that future, the authority and voice of the art educator must be minimalized. Assessment must be broadened to allow for multiple paths to success. No longer can we offer students an experience full of ordered tasks with one set of solutions. We need to encourage engaged thinkers who create their own paths to destinations we never imagined. This is not an easy task. We live in a world of standardized tests and ever changing laws that inhibit our educational creativity. It is in the face of this assault that we must become ever more creative and continue to find new ways to embolden our students. We need to create young artists who are powerful and determined to freely explore and to dynamically communicate their own voices. To do that, we must deconstruct the traditional role of teacher as the sole source of knowledge and mastery that leads students along a predetermined path and, instead, act as a support in our students’ own journey of investigation and self-discovery. We must inspire, not instruct. We must realize that art exists in a beautiful space with no rules and that we do young artists a disservice by arbitrarily trying to define it with rules. In doing this, we will create young artists who are beyond any standardized test and who will succeed by any measure. It is to this end that I have created this space. I will document my beliefs, trials, and successes in creating an artistic, educational space for students that can hold true to the authentic, creative process that I so believe in but which also fits in to the realities of the public education space. Please join me on this quest and feel free to question and critique. I by no means have all the answers, but I am excited to begin this adventure.

3 thoughts on “Why I Am Here

  1. I’d love to learn more about what core curriculum you’re required to teach in your art classes. How much freedom do you feel you have as an educator to give students exploratory assignments?


    1. Really, my only requirements are that I keep the students engaged, and that we perform well on AP. And thise are goals that I also feel are important. Other than that, I have set most goals for myself. I was given very little guidance when I started, so most everything I have done was self-motivated.


    2. I always say, the worst part about my job is nobody really cares what I do. I also say that the best part of my job is that no one cares what I do. Most people see quality art making as some sort of magic, so if the work is good and the students are happy, no one really questions my day to day. Also, I have a hugely supportive administration. Plus, I rarely ask permission. Every action I take is with my students best interests in mind. If someone wants to question that, I’ll have that argument all day long.


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